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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099458326
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $19.99
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Kafka on the Shore




An unusual and mesmerising novel from the cult Japanese author

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle.

Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099458326
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Haruki Murakami

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami’s unique and addictive fictional universe.

Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami’s place as one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

Also by Haruki Murakami

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Praise for Kafka on the Shore

“For sheer love of a thumping narrative, the novel delivers gloriously-Inventive, alluring'”

Guardian

“Wonderful-Magical and outlandish”

Daily Mail

“Cool, fluent and addictive”

Daily Telegraph

“Hypnotic, spellbinding”

The Times

“A magnificently bewildering achievement-Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot-Exuberant storytelling”

Independent on Sunday

“Addictive-Exhilarating-A pleasure”

Evening Standard

“Murakami's most addictive fix to date”

Independent

“Engrossing and wildly inventive”

Times Literary Supplement

“A remarkable writer”

“'Laden with philosophical overtones and enchanting wit'”

Observer

“richly inventive.”

The Times

“Murakami's exquisitely simple prose and deft evocation of the surreal are captivating and sublime.”

Sunday Times


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